FRESH MILK PRODUCTS

What are the nutritional properties of milk?

Milk is a rich source of calcium, proteins, phosphorus, Vitamin B2 & B12. These nutrients are essential for the human body and provide a range of benefits, particularly the promotion of healthy bones and teeth.

What does pasteurisation mean?

Pasteurisation is the process of heating which makes the milk safe and free from dangerous micro-organisms that may be present in raw milk and raw milk products. The process involves heating milk to a particular temperature and time combination eg. 63°C for 30 second or 72°C for 15 seconds. This process is more gentle than UHT (Ultra Heat Treatment) and so ensures that the taste and nutritional aspects of fresh pasteurised milk remain as natural as possible, whilst ensuring its safety. Since Benna fresh milk is pasteurised, it must be kept refrigerated at all times to maintain its short shelf-life.

How can I keep Benna fresh milk from turning sour?

Benna Fresh Milk is pasteurised and not sterilised. This means that some non-harmful bacteria remain after the milk is heat-treated. These bacteria have to be controlled by keeping the milk at a low temperature in a refrigerator. Here are some tips which you can follow to ensure you are keeping the milk from turning sour:-

  • Pick up the milk right before you check out of the grocery store, so it doesn’t warm up in the trolley whilst you are cruising around for other products
  • Keep the milk refrigerated at a temperature lower than 8˚C as soon as possible after purchase
  • If you have a long way home, place the milk in a small cooler bag to keep it cool
  • Store the milk in the coolest part of your fridge, ideally in the bottom shelf. Do not store the milk in the fridge door as it will be exposed to drastic temperature changes every time the fridge is opened and closed
  • Take the milk out of the fridge right before use, and place it back in right after. Don’t let it sit outside unneccesarily for long periods of time
  • Avoid exposing the milk to light as it destroys certain vitamins, such as Vitamin D and Riboflavin
  • When you have more than one carton of milk in the fridge, the one with the shortest shelf-life should be consumed first
  • Try to keep the milk in its original packaging instead of pouring it into a jug, as the milk carton is specifically designed to protect it from light, odour and other external elements 

If the milk is kept refrigerated as instructed throughout the whole supply chain, starting from the factory, all the way to the consumer’s home, Benna fresh milk will not turn sour before its use-by date.

 

Can Benna fresh milk be frozen?

Benna milk is intended to be consumed as fresh as possible to retain the natural properties of milk. If kept at the recommended temperature it will remain in perfect condition for at least 7 days from milking. It can be frozen at home to extend the shelf-life but this can reduce the quality of the product in terms of taste and cream separation. We therefore do not recommend this practice unless it is difficult to buy fresh milk on a regular basis.

Are Benna milk cartons recyclable?

Yes! Benna milk cartons are recyclable and can be placed in the white/grey bags.

Are Benna Ġbejniet made with pasteurised milk?

Yes, all of Benna products, including our Ġbejniet, are made with fresh pasteurised milk. Thus, you can put your mind at rest that you are consuming a safe product.

Does Benna fresh milk contain sugar and salt?

Milk contains a natural sugar known as lactose. It is classified as a sugar but should not be confused with sucrose which is what people normally refer to when saying ‘sugar’. Benna does not add sugar to milk, light yogurts, irkotta or cheeses.

The salt in milk is similarly derived from the cow. Benna does not add salt to milk. The amount of salt in milk is very low; 50mg sodium per 100 ml, equivalent to 0.1g of salt per 100g.

Is Benna Irkotta suitable for people with high blood pressure?

Irkotta is made with a mixture of calcium and sodium. The calcium is necessary to bind the proteins while the sodium prevents the curd from becoming too hard. The sodium used is therefore a necessary ingredient in the manufacturing process of irkotta. It also gives the irkotta a pleasant taste which would otherwise be bland. However, the amount of salt used is kept to a minimum and has been reduced over the years to make Irkotta more suitable for people with moderate hypertension. The amount of sodium is very low when compared to other cheeses. The nutritional information listed in the product’s section gives a clear indication of the sodium content of each product and should be used as a guideline together with medical advice for a suitable diet.

Which Benna fresh milk products are suitable for Diabetics?

All the versions of Benna Fresh White Milk (0.3% fat, 2.5% fat, 3.5% fat and Lactose Free) have no added sugar. The natural sugar in milk is known as lactose (not sucrose). In addition, Light Yogurts, Natural Yogurt, Bennalife Yogurt, Irkotta, Cream, Ġbejniet and Mozzarella have no added sugar either.

Diabetic persons should consult with their doctor about their diet.

Which Benna fresh milk products are suitable for Coeliacs?

All Benna Fresh Milk products are made with gluten-free ingredients and are therefore suitable for Coeliacs.

Does skimmed milk contain added water?

Skimmed milk does not contain added water. The fact that it is less creamier than the other variants of milk is due to the lack of fat which is removed in the skimming process.

What is the difference between Ricotta and Irkotta?

Ricotta is a typical Italian cheese made primarily from whey of other cheeses. In Italian, the name ricotta means ‘re-cooked’ since this whey is heated to produce ricotta curd. The usual way of making ricotta is to heat whey with a food grade acid.

On the other hand, the main ingredient in Irkotta (as produced by M.D.P.) is primarily milk. Its production involves the heating of milk, with the addition of natural calcium and sodium chlorine.

LACTOSE FREE

Why are some people intolerant to milk?

Certain people are not intolerant to milk itself, but to lactose, which is the sugar naturally found in milk. The body digests lactose using a substance called lactase. Lactase breaks the lactose down into sugars called glucose and galactose, which can be easily digested and absorbed into the bloodstream. People with lactose intolerance do not produce enough lactase, so the consumed lactose remains in the digestive system where it’s fermented by bacteria, leading to unpleasant symptoms, which may include:

  • abdominal bloating
  • a feeling of fullness or swelling in the abdomen
  • abdominal pain
  • diarrhoea
  • gas
  • nausea

Some people may still be able to drink a small glass of milk without triggering any symptoms, whilst others may not even be able to consume milk in their tea or coffee.

How is Benna Lactose Free Milk produced?

Benna Lactose Free Fresh Milk starts off as regular cow’s milk. Lactase enzyme is then added to the milk to break down the lactose (the natural sugar found in milk) into simpler forms, glucose and galactose, both of which are easily absorbed in the human digestive system.

As nothing else is added or removed, what you get is delicious Lactose Free Fresh Milk, which has all the nutritious goodness of regular fresh milk, just without the lactose.

How can I keep Benna fresh milk from turning sour?

Benna Fresh Milk is pasteurised and not sterilised. This means that some non-harmful bacteria remain after the milk is heat-treated. These bacteria have to be controlled by keeping the milk at a low temperature in a refrigerator. Here are some tips which you can follow to ensure you are keeping the milk from turning sour:-

  • Pick up the milk right before you check out of the grocery store, so it doesn’t warm up in the trolley whilst you are cruising around for other products
  • Keep the milk refrigerated at a temperature lower than 8˚C as soon as possible after purchase
  • If you have a long way home, place the milk in a small cooler bag to keep it cool
  • Store the milk in the coolest part of your fridge, ideally in the bottom shelf. Do not store the milk in the fridge door as it will be exposed to drastic temperature changes every time the fridge is opened and closed
  • Take the milk out of the fridge right before use, and place it back in right after. Don’t let it sit outside unneccesarily for long periods of time
  • Avoid exposing the milk to light as it destroys certain vitamins, such as Vitamin D and Riboflavin
  • When you have more than one carton of milk in the fridge, the one with the shortest shelf-life should be consumed first
  • Try to keep the milk in its original packaging instead of pouring it into a jug, as the milk carton is specifically designed to protect it from light, odour and other external elements 

If the milk is kept refrigerated as instructed throughout the whole supply chain, starting from the factory, all the way to the consumer’s home, Benna fresh milk will not turn sour before its use-by date.

 

Can Benna fresh milk be frozen?

Benna milk is intended to be consumed as fresh as possible to retain the natural properties of milk. If kept at the recommended temperature it will remain in perfect condition for at least 7 days from milking. It can be frozen at home to extend the shelf-life but this can reduce the quality of the product in terms of taste and cream separation. We therefore do not recommend this practice unless it is difficult to buy fresh milk on a regular basis.

Are Benna milk cartons recyclable?

Yes! Benna milk cartons are recyclable and can be placed in the white/grey bags.

What is lactase?

Lactase is an enzyme produced by the human body and whose function is to break down the milk sugar lactose into simpler sugars known as glucose and galactose. This process is necessary to enable the human intestine to absorb and use the sugar lactose.

Lactose intolerant persons cannot produce lactase in their intestine.

What is the fat content of Benna Lactose Free Fresh Milk?

The fat content, carbohydrate and sugar levels of Benna Lactose Free 2.5% Milk are identical to those in Benna’s light blue 2.5% fat milk.

Why does Benna Lactose Free Milk taste sweeter than the light blue 2.5% fat Benna Milk?

The natural sugar (lactose) in the light blue 2.5% milk is converted into glucose and galactose, which together taste sweeter than the original lactose. The total sugar levels in the lactose free milk are the same as the sugar levels found in Benna’s light blue 2.5% fat milk carton. No artificial sugars are added to Benna’s Lactose Free Milk.

How does Malta Dairy Products Ltd. guarantee lactose levels in its Lactose Free product range?

M.D.P. checks all its products using the facilities offered by its own laboratories and confirms the results by running parallel tests with laboratories abroad.

What makes Benna Lactose Free Milk different from soya or rice drinks?

Soya and rice drinks are derived from plants, whereas Benna Lactose Free Milk is a dairy product since it originates from cow’s milk.

BUTTER

What is the difference between butter and margarine?

Although many times they are used for the same purposes, butter and margarine are two very different products. The main difference between the two is the type of fat they are derived from. While butter is derived from animal fat, margarine is made with vegetable oils. This difference sets them apart in terms of taste, texture and nutrition.

Butter is a dairy product made from churning milk or cream. The churning process separates the solid butterfat from the liquid buttermilk. Benna butter is made from cream derived from cow’s milk. By definition, it contains at least 80% milk fat by weight. Traditionally, butter comes in salted and unsalted versions.

Can Benna butter be used for cooking?

Benna butter can be used as a cooking medium to enhance and complement the flavour of the food that is being cooked in it. When heated, butter develops into a delicious flavour as the milk solids caramelise.

Salted butter is all-purpose and ideal for spreading on bread, vegetables and pasta. When baking, one should always use unsalted butter as salt binds the proteins and increases the stretching properties of doughs, whilst giving you complete control of the overall flavour of your dish.

FARMER OWNED

Why has Malta Dairy Products Ltd. introduced a Farmer Owned logo on all of its products?

The underlying concept behind the new Farmer Owned logo is that Care is being taken in every step of the milk journey, from the cow to the consumer’s table.

All our Benna products are made from 100% fresh Maltese milk that comes from dedicated dairy farmers with a genuine passion for milk. Being a Cooperative, Malta Dairy Products Ltd. is 70% owned by the same dairy farmers who bring in their milk to the factory every single day.

Are cows that produce milk for Benna kept in humane conditions?

Benna accepts milk only from farms which are authorised by the government’s veterinary regulatory department, whose duty is to make sure that these farms are up to all EU standards including animal welfare. When a farm does not meet the required standards, this department informs M.D.P. not to accept milk, either permanently or temporarily until they upgrade their conditions.

Benna also pays farmers according to the quality of their milk. It is well known that cows kept in good and comfortable conditions produce better quality milk. Some farmers have installed equipment such as back scrubbers which keep the cows happy in order to make milk of a superior quality and, by doing so, get paid better rates.

How many dairy cows are there in Malta?

There are approximately 6000 milking cows and 91 farms distributed around Malta and Gozo that provide M.D.P. with fresh milk every day, including Sundays and public holidays. This number does not include calves, bulls and beef cattle which are kept on other farms.

What are the benefits for me as a consumer when purchasing products from a local farmer-owned cooperative?

We get all our milk from the farmers who own M.D.P. and we know every single one of them. We are in control of the quality of the milk all the way from the cow to the shelf and you can rest assured that our owners’ milk is natural, nutritious and sourced in a responsible and sustainable way. 

Benna products require less transportation than imported dairy products, thus help with reducing our carbon footprint. Did you know that around 39% of arable land in Malta and 69% of arable land in Gozo is used to cultivate feeds for the cows that produce our milk? By buying Benna products, you are contributing to maintaining these large tracts of land nicely cultivated.

As a consumer, how can I help local farmers?

By choosing Benna, you are choosing a dairy supplier which delivers the profit back to the farmers. When you buy a product from Benna, you can rest assured that the majority of our earnings go back to our farmer owners to help create a long term sustainable milk production industry in Malta.

CORPORATE

Is Malta Dairy Products owned by the Government?

Today, M.D.P. is owned by the Koperattiva Produtturi tal-Ħalib (KPH – the maltese dairy farmers cooperative) with 70% shareholding, and the Government of Malta through Malta Government Investments Ltd. with 30% shareholding.

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